for Mt Stegosaurus
- That slow gentle shock as you enter a cave praising yourself to have found its refuge, then that first sense, half chill on your spine, at how the dark splotches run together till the faint reddish stain might just be a thylacine, could not be an accident.
for Mt Stegosaurus
The Dreamtime was true. These rocks all lived. The land was alive and convulsing when seas were hot mists. Its rocks bubbled and frothed. Now they lie flat, yet sluggishly steep with the long barrel-bodies of crested reptiles and the stumpy side-legs of salamanders. Bumping the clouds along their spines, breaking the hail with a mindless brow, - the first brood of Earth before she invented cooler blood and flesh that grew in its own water. They had climbed out unknowing. The mild air, the sliding rivers turned them to stone. Pygmy brontosaurids grazed on their sleeping flanks, the long necks moving; and small things suckling in a pouch of volcanic tundra on a snowy raft that drifted round the Pole. Denting the crust-plate that wobbled over the molten-iron belly, they returned with boiling lakes on their heads. The monsters count moons by the million and the watery suns by day. The cold ocean of air has invaded them surely cracking their blood into crystals; and that subtle and terrible fluid, the water . . . They are not fooled by summers or the faint warmth of forest fires. They hold the valleys between their paws grimly relenting; or butt back the sand-swell, flicking its spume from rigid tail bones.
……………… In dreams you return to that cluster of nations whose abstract art is not distinguished from their maps, not broken to the small world inside an artist's head a precise universe built from a blizzard of dots - no straight meaningless roads, every path a contour, truth, and tucker - its river-courses dry statements of intent, conditional, blossoming rarely with brown loops of clayey water. Australia shams dry, turning outward its reptile surface; blues and greens reflect fluid everywhere under. As though the land swirled and flowed from certain sites of Increase; soaks, and scrapes and shallow holes in rock are the timeless Dreaming spirals from which fresh litters flowed and flow as milk weeps from an echidna's ductless udder richly among the spines. Everything finished and happened once, back in the Dreamtime. We live in eternity now.
The egret leans like a notary, invigilates the bona fides of a lotus clump, plucks out the frog of error. - - Two egrets leaning too much. Each threatens the tuft beyond his neighbour's. - - Exposed, frog stares heron in the beak knowing itself delicious flesh that will breed if it leaps away. - - Frog leaps and loses. By the many eggs of the few survivors a species lives, eternal.
A sea like after loving, so warm and flat each wave exhausts it for minutes. Rock bobs in not quite the same place, a croc drifting across the bay at dusk. The sun goes down in fiery yellow and all the world is as it must. Tonight you will dream the mating of crocodiles, armoured belly to belly churning thick ooze in a perfect weightless bed. Breeze-patterned bay, evening peace, scatter of fish-jumps, random feeding.